The Sandman

April 18, 2016

It could just be a tree stump
or a rock pile, or a goat
that was poised to amble down
the cliff face, not a man at all.
Until his face flashes in your face,
becomes your face,
and fades into the sea.
There is no sound, no Icarus-like cry—
nothing… until the cat calls,
until the sea begins to speak
in an ancient voice—
or at least it murmurs
—as the door creaks open—
above a threshold of silence.

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3 Responses to “The Sandman”

  1. extrasimile Says:

    HI John, Hi Thomas, Hi Jo
    It strikes me that the Milk poem, untitled, and the Sandman are working together, and should be considered together. The darkness/light, night/day and ultimately the sleep/awake contrasts are in all three.. The cows are asleep, dreaming of dawn. The photograph was of early morning. Then the Sandman makes use of the contrast between the Hans Christian Andersen and the ETA Hoffman versions of the story.(Have you read the Hoffman novella?. It’s high German romanticism, and nothing like the cute gentleman in the Andersen tale) to show the difference between the sleep/ dream/ night situation and the awake/ day situation. Thomas, you said that the sandman was about me and the sea was a metaphor about time. John, you commented I was up early. I’d say you were both correct. And that not sleeping well is oddly scary to us humans. The natural rhythms, and all that, is the stuff of nightmares. The peace of the cows and the photograph gives way to the nightmare of the sandman.
    Sort of makes sense, yes?

  2. Thomas Davis Says:

    I love these recent poems, Jim. This one seems to be about you and you inside a dream, perhaps, re The Sandman, or more profoundly about time or time as found in dream. It’s just an evocative poem.
    Until his face flashes in your face,
    becomes your face,
    and fades into the sea.
    If I take this as a poem about time, the sea then becomes metaphor for time. Then
    —as the door creaks open—
    what is the metaphor of the door mean? Eternity? Time passing as the cat calls, the sea begins to seek? All
    above a threshold of silence.
    What a delicious poem.

  3. John Looker Says:

    Extraordinarily atmospheric Jim!


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